League of Legends Giving Players a Reward for Not Being Jerks in 2014

Did you get through 2014 without being a total asshat in League of Legends? Then congratulations, Riot Games is about to send you a free mystery skin. See, nice guys don’t always finish last.

Who’s eligible?

A blog post has revealed that any LoL players level 5 and above who weren’t hit with a chat restriction, ranked-play restriction, 14-day ban, or permanent ban (obviously) last year will be eligible for the gift.

Why Riot is doing this.

On Reddit, Riot dev RiotLyte explained why the company has chosen to reward positive behavior.

“A few players are wondering why we are giving out an extrinsic (tangible!) reward for positive behavior when they might have heard we were against it in the past,” he wrote. “This is a misunderstanding! We’ve always said that our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement. There’s no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix of punishments and rewards

“However, to give more context about this extrinsic reward, the key is that it is a surprise and not deterministic. What I mean by this is that it isn’t some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift. If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.”

There’s more where that came from.

Riot added that this “positive reinforcement” will be an ongoing trend throughout 2015, as part of their overall attempt to curb toxic behavior.

Riot hopes that surprise rewards like this will encourage “neutral” players to put in a little extra effort to be nice, while those with poor impulse control might be encourages to be a little more mindful of their actions.

For positive players in the game, this won’t really affect them and they’ll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise. For toxic players, this effort might also encourage a few to change their ways though we expect the biggest impact to be with the neutral players. It’s important to note that we did 2 tests of this design before (with Santa Baron icon and IP Boosts), but in future roll-outs it will be possible for players to earn the next surprise if they’ve been positive since the last surprise was awarded. So, if you were chat restricted and missed a surprise, you will still be eligible for the next surprise if you were positive in the time range between the 2 surprises and are not blacklisted for life.

What’s next?

Riot isn’t revealing what exactly the next surprise will be, but they did state that not every one will be a mystery gift, and some will rewards will be bigger than others.

For example, the last surprise was an IP Boost which was mainly beneficial for newer players still building out their champion pools. Other surprises may include collectibles like unique summoner icons (which we tried before with the Santa Baron icon).

So be good summoners, Riot is always watching.


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